Sneak peek: Ledebur, Proietti show glimpse of what’s to come this season for GJ Tigers

Luke Ledebur returns a shot Sunday during the boys 18 singles finals match of the Elam Junior tennis tournament. Ledebur defeated Grand Junction High School teammate Parker Hegstrom.

Alex Proietti returns the ball Sunday to Samantha Weinberg during her victory in the girls 18-under singles final of the Elam Junior tennis tournament at Canyon View Park.

The Elam Junior Tournament finals provided a look into Grand Junction High School’s boys and girls tennis lineups.

Although challenge matches will determine positions on the teams, two players took a step ahead for singles positions in the boys and girls 18-under singles finals Sunday at Canyon View Park.

Luke Ledebur defeated a player expected to challenge him for a top singles position in the boys 18-under singles final. The 16-year-old defeated high school teammate Parker Hegstrom 6-0, 6-0.

Ledebur has won the Elam Junior Tournament boys 18-under, 16-under and 14-under singles title the past three years.

“It feels good; playing 16 singles last year then moving up to 18s and winning it,” Ledebur said. “I wasn’t expecting 0 and 0. Parker and I have had some close matches. I tried to keep my cool and not get worried about things and play solid.”

He plans on playing a few more tournaments before high school season begins in August. The first official practice is Aug. 16 with the Tigers season beginning Aug. 26 at Fruita Monument.

“I’m playing a lot, trying to improve on things,” Ledebur said. “Groundstrokes have always been pretty solid.”

He hopes to play No. 2 or 3 singles for the Tigers this fall. He played No. 2 doubles last fall and qualified for state.

Alex Proietti won the girls 18-under singles title, defeating Grand Junction High School teammate Samantha Weinberg 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 for the title.

It was a matchup of the Tigers’ No. 2 and 3 singles players last spring.

“It’s always different playing friends and teammates,” Proietti said. “It’s tougher because they know all your strengths and weaknesses and you know theirs. There’s always the friendship involved. Sam played a great match. It was a lot of fun.”

Proietti played No. 2 singles and Weinberg played No. 3.

“I struggled the first set,” Proietti said. “The second set came around and I knew I needed to pick it up and hit my shots in and play my best. The first set I tried to go for winners and it wasn’t working out. I knew I needed to be more consistent if I was going to have a shot at winning the match.

“It was a tough match. It was definitely a test of our mental strengths knowing you’ve got matches after (this one) and you don’t want to lose this one.”

With the girls season eight months away, Proietti isn’t concerned about positions just yet, but is excited for her senior year.

“I’m looking forward to season. It will be a lot of fun,” she said. “I’m just hoping to have a great season and have fun with all the girls on the team.”

Proietti capped the tournament with a mixed doubles title with Owen Gartner. They defeated Proietti’s brother, Dylan Proietti and Margo Prinster 8-4 in the final.

Nicky Arja defeated Courtlyn Carpenter 7-5, 6-0 for the girls 16 singles title and Anne Hughes rallied to defeat Carolena Campos 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 for the girls 14-under title.

In the boys tournament, Jesi Nordstrom won the 16-under title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Aaron Arellano and Matt Ness defeated Lael Nordstrom 7-5, 6-3 for the 14-under title.


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